Spring Heel Shoes - 3D Print




About: Designer www.netasoreq.com

These shoes are called ‘Energetic pass', they are designed with a spring heel which has a mechanism which acts as a shock absorber, and gives the wearer a new walking experience (you can see it in the video in the end). Actually, the only way to make this structure is by 3D printing.

In this instructable I will help you to understand the steps to design your 3D print shoes.

For this instructable you will need: Plasticine, scan of a anatomical last, access to a 3D printer, knowledge in 3D software and to let your imagination run wild...

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Step 1: Find Your Inspiration

My shoe design came from studying hyper-actives people while focusing on different therapy treatments that direct the energy in the body like Kinesiologia, Centering and more. I was inspired by the structure of the muscles and the natural movement of the foot in different positions.

It was a very special project for me, it touched me personally as I grew up with ADHD.

I took this design to research and understand what is going inside the body and mind of a person with ADHD, not only how the effects that can be seen by other people, but how this phenomenon affects the nervous system in the brain and how it differs from normal functioning human being.

I recommend you take a personal subject that you are passionate about and want to delve into, any project you will make that comes from a personal place will have more significance for you.

Step 2: Sketches

Take a pencil and start to sketch out your idea...sketching multiple sketches from different angles will help you develop your ideas and think about potential problems and solutions

Once your satisfied with your sketches on paper you can start making 3D models, I like to use Plasticine for my 3d models.

Don't save up on the details!!

I made a lot of sketches! my Line of thought was that all the curves will become connected to each other.

It's important to sketches until you feel satisfied, because this is how you bring out your thoughts and ideas and share them with the world .

Always think about some thing you want to achieve with your design, and follow it.

Step 3: 3D Scan of an Anatomical Last

The shoes were designed upon a 3D scan of an anatomical last using the SolidWorks 3D software.

On the computer I started modeling the shoe on the last one line at a time much like a sculptor does. Basically I used the traditional technique of building shoes and combined them with the technological advantages of computer design.

Step 4: Spring Heel

The design process included a deep research of the material properties and enabling flexibility by designing a unique structure. I was looking around in a spring shop (yes this is something that exists) and researched about a lot of different springs until I found the one that I could change accordingly to my vision.

It was a long way until I finally designed the final spring , I attached pics from my experiments ... don't give up !

Try to make a spring and to combine it to heel to get spring heel that could to hold your body.

You can look in the black photos the difference of the spring when it's being stepped on and when it's in a neutral position.

Step 5: Combine the Heel to Shoes

*All the underlined words are commands in Solidworks.

1 Thickento 4 mm ( the thickness needs to be strong enough ) ->

2Import pictures of your sketches from all angles ( right , left, back , top, bottom, front )->

3 Make a 3D sketch on the surface thicken according to your picture sketches. make a circle profile that touches the center of the curve with PiercePoint. ->

4 Sweep make a sweep from 3D curves and circle profile. ->

5 Make the spring with a boss extrude , sweep and cir pattern ->

6 Combine between the spring part and upper part with 3D sketch and loft (I recommend to color each loft separately so you can tell the difference between them) ->

7 Build the front spring ( with the same technique we made first spring) ->

8 Combine between the front spring part and upper part with 3Dsketch and loft (I recommend to color each loft separately so you can tell the difference between them)->

-> Cut extrude the insole according to what you want->fillet every place you want !!!! get it to look good!

-> combine everything.

Step 6: Bearing Soles

The whole mechanism revolves so the movement needs to be separated from the floor. This is the reason I design the soles as a bearing.

1Sketch 2 circle and do boss-extrude ->

2Sketch the profile of the revolve , make a fillet to make it smooth .

Thats it ! do the same to other spring .

Step 7: Export the File to STL

When you finish your design, you should prepare your file to be ready for printing .
-The thickness is adjusted for your printer

-The shape without support (if you use a FDM printer)

-The shape is like you wanted

-The shoes are on the work plane (if you use tinkercad / onshape / 123D ....)

- Everything is combined and solid, no hole or surface . Then export the file to STL (file -> save as -> save as type: STL ) The triangle that you see is called a mesh, and this how the computer translates the shape to the software of the printer.

Chose your printer, in this case I chose a SLS printer and material of choice was: Nylon 12

Step 8: Video and Results

Now for the fun part!!

If you print it in Nylon you can color it with fabric dyes.

Walk around with your new shoes.

Don't forget to show me your results : www.netasoreq.com

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    23 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Love this concept and the design!


    2 years ago

    Ok I get it nw.

    No wonder there are no settings etc. This is all an ad to get people to buy these shoes from you. Friking heck.

    Nick U

    2 years ago

    Awesome design! Could you give some details about the print settings used?


    2 years ago

    Beanie...I was just wondering if you were aware of "chinese foot binding" as I could not find a reference to the '72 article. I'm into PanAsian studies and love getting new references! The shoes are the most curious item I have seen. No doubt there will be a period of adjustment and back to the drawing board sessions, but just the design alone, wow! Best to you!


    2 years ago

    Someone's gotta ask: are they comfortable or useable (realistically) at all? Nevertheless, they look awesome!

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Well said. As an art piece, they are interesting to look at but as a functional shoe?? There was a 1972 documentary called, Beauty Knows No Pain. I think that phrase applies here.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I couldn't find the article in the ether; so, is this about footbinding? Take a look for that and how the foot was changed to fit the shoe. Eyow! The perfect bound foot was no bigger than a small teacup. This guaranteed the woman a prosperous marriage. Dig a bit deeper and learn how they bound, cut and crushed the foot. Revolting smell as well. Best to you,


    Reply 2 years ago

    No, I'm not comparing to foot-binding, just to the practicality of walking in these shoes. Same as trying to walk in very tall stiletto heels. People will put themselves through discomfort and basically hinder their own ability to move with ease in order to appear fashionable. best to you as well.


    2 years ago

    i looked up 3d shoes and found this related to your study of anatomy, neta:

    "adidas is also relying heavily on ARAMIS – a motion capture software used by NASA to inspect the outer hull of space shuttles – in order to track the gait of runners – and which maps skin, bone and muscle, to one day have the ability to create one-off shoes for customers.

    “It’s a really versatile tool,” said George Robusti, Senior Design Director of Global Running at adidas, of the ARAMIS system. “The technology enabled us to fine-tune how we approach the functionality of the product. You shouldn’t need to think about the shoe being there"


    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Creating one-off shoes would be smashing. From years of martial arts, dance and genetics, a one foot size does not work. I have odd-ball sneakers because one leg is a tad higher than the other leg. At my age, I can't afford a fractured hip. Or, ankle!

    neta soreqWillW68

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you very much ! it's very intresting ...


    2 years ago

    I wouldn't say that "the only way to make this structure is by 3D printing". You could obtain similar results with other techniques such as shaping from spring metal followed by proper annealing and plastic coating, wood carving, casting...

    3 replies
    neta soreqdeluges

    Reply 2 years ago

    If you will do it from wood or metal it will not be felxibel ...

    Try and tell me

    Ferntoeneta soreq

    Reply 2 years ago

    Flexibility is a must. And, you are leaving the dinosaurs of shoe making in the past. With wobbly ankle syndrome (wonkers), I can only look and smile. The beginning of shoes was meant to elevate the foot/feet above non-paved road (horse poo etc.) and the second reason? Keeps the woman in her "place", look at Chinese foot binding. How's the sweat factor? Could you find something that once formed would have that in place?

    delugesneta soreq

    Reply 2 years ago

    In my humble opinion, this is a situation in which trying is not necessary. Wood and metal, in the same way Nylon does, have elastic properties. It's just a matter of finding the right alloy/wood species in the right shape and state. Have you ever seen a spring in a clicker pen ? What was it made of ? Now have you seen a bow ? Was it made out of Nylon ?

    You can refer to those instructables to get an idea of what I mean, were it not clear enough in my comment:




    2 years ago

    Neta, this is fabulous! You nailed down all the anatomical parameters. I've worked 40 years as a med. transcriptionist, your approach and details are spot on! You have taken the time to address the person, their physiology and structure. I can no longer wear heels having broken both feet and have prosthetic knees, but these shoes are intriguing. Patent your design! Please! I would say you could go to a physical therapy group (the doctor) and I have no doubt you would have a whiz-bang collaboration. Best to you! Anne


    2 years ago

    Awesome work! Beautiful and innovative.


    2 years ago

    they look great but I would only invest this much time and effort if I knew that I could actually wear them and not end up carrying them while going barefoot.


    2 years ago

    this is really cool